Creative Cauldron Gets Magical With “Bold New Voices” Premiere of Chicks In Heaven

Creative Cauldron Art & Culture

This April Creative Cauldron presents the world premiere of Chicks In Heaven, a play with rock-music. A story of friendship, feminism, and a little bit of witchcraft, this original play celebrates the resilient power of the feminine spirit. The book and lyrics for Chicks were written by local writer, Carol Campbell, and the music was written by Carol Campbell and David Graziano. Founding Artistic Director Laura Connors Hull is directing and Sylvana Christopher is the choreographer. Chicks in Heaven “Bold New Voices” principal sponsor is Jon Wiant and the production sponsor is Destination Rwanda. The production runs from April 11 – 28, 2024.

Chicks in Heaven was first staged as a reading at Creative Cauldron in April 2022 as part of the “Bold New Voices” initiative, which focuses on developing works written by women and women-identifying writers. Founding Artistic Director Laura Connors Hull said she was drawn to the show because: “it’s an engaging story about a group of friends having a 30-year reunion and re-kindling the magical bonds that drew them together.  At a time when women’s rights are being diminished, it speaks to the power that is available in sisterhood.” 

Writer and composer of Chicks in Heaven, Carol Campbell, spoke on her journey writing this show: “I wrote the first draft of ‘Chicks’ in 2018. It reflected my desire to re-engage in sisterhood, which I recognize now as a metaphor for building a collective to fight against gender oppression. As I developed the characters and began to add music and magical realism, the story took on more challenging themes as critical events kept mounting:  book burnings and bans, reproductive rights rolling backwards and the continual conflict around the urban/rural divide.  The friends who reunite must ultimately realize they need each other to face it all.”

Cast and Creative Team

The talented cast of Chicks in Heaven includes Karen Lange, Pauline Lamb, Krista Grimmett, Aubrey Baker, Lenny Mendez, Ben Ribler, Charlene Sloan, and James Bartlebaugh (U/S). Karen Lange (Frances) is a Helen Hayes nominated, DMV-based theater artist who has been seen performing in productions such as Happy Days (Mead Theatre Lab), Henry IV and The Trojan Women Project (Brave Spirits), Assassins (Pallas Theatre Collective), The Events (Theatre Alliance), TAME (Avant Bard), The Honey Trap (Solas Nua), A Bright Room Called Day (Nu Sass), and The Carolina Layaway Grail (The Welders).

Making their Creative Cauldron debuts are Krista Grimmett, Audrey Baker, Charlene Sloan and James Bartlebaugh. Krista Grimmett (Emmaline) has performed around the world in various productions, some of her favorite performances include Aint Misbehavin’, The Heidi Chronicles,The Crucible, A Comedy of Errors, Medea, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard III, Home, Into the Woods, For Colored Girls, Cabaret and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Audrey Baker (Mindy) has performed across the DMV in shows such as Desperate Measures (Constellation Theatre Company), The Who’s Tommy, Urinetown, Xanadu (Workhouse Arts Center), Bright Star, and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Little Theatre of Alexandria)Baker is joined by Charlene Sloan (Sophie) who has been seen in roles in Avenue Q (Little Theatre of Alexandria), A Delightful Quarantine (Reston Community Players), Snow White and the Family Dwarf, and Red Herring (Providence Players of Fairfax).

Making their return to the Creative Cauldron stage are Lenny Mendez, Pauline Lamb, and Ben Ribler. Artistic Associate Lenny Mendez (Phoenix) returns to the stage after being seen in Monarch: A Mexican-American Musical, Audrey: The New Musical, Ichabod: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Snow Queen, and The Adventures of Pinocchio / Las Aventuras de Pinocho.

Pauline Lamb (Tatiana) after delivering a touching performance in Diagnosed, has also appeared in shows across the DC Metropolitan Area including The Bluest Eye (Anacostia Playhouse), School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play (NextStop Theatre Company), Little Shop of Horrors (ArtsCentric), The Very Last Days of the First Colored Circus (Restoration Stage)and Use All Available Doors (Pinky Swear).

Ben Ribler (Conrad) has performed in Creative Cauldron’s Summer Cabaret and Concert Series. He has also starred in shows across the DMV such as The Great Society (Arena Stage), The Lion in Winter (Everyman Theater), The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Imagination Stage)and the Helen Hayes Award Nominated Something Rotten! (Toby’s Dinner Theatre).

Carol Lee Campbell is an award-winning writer, singer/songwriter and professor. She has performed multiple sold-out shows at Creative Cauldron, Jammin’ Java, and other local music venues with her band Favorite Child. She is also the creator of Crone Stones, a widely popular divination oracle that includes thirty-three porcelain stones and an accompanying book, “Return to Wellness: The New Book of Crone Stones”. A book launch of her newest fiction, “Rebel Rose” debuts in May. Carol teaches Women’s Studies and Greek Mythology at several Virginia community colleges and travels regionally as a performance artist and a lecturer. Chicks In Heaven is her first play with music.

Sylvana Christopher is a DC performer, choreographer, and teaching artist who studied dance in Cuba, Puerto Rico, France, and Senegal and collaborated with numerous local female choreographers. She co-founded Glade Dance Collective in 2009. Together they built: Health/Care, The Wall, District. Defined?, Mind/Field, and Am I There Yet?. Formed in 2016, SylviDances choreographed ash, Who Two, Then She Fell and commissioned F’Ok. In 2022, she presented A Friend Like You in Out of the Box/Into the World. In 2023, together with newest company Vigorous Roots, she choreographed Resonance. Her teaching credits include Inspired Child, Dance Place, and All10 as well as high school actors at Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Joy of Motion Dance Center, Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning, Sitar Arts Center, and The Washington Ballet.

Connors Hull, Campbell, and Christopher are joined on the Creative Team by Creative Cauldron’s  Resident Designer, Margie Jervis, Sets and Costumes, Helen Hayes nominated Lynn Joslin, Lighting Designer, and James Morrison, Projection Designer. Nicholas Goodman is the Stage Manager.

Tickets can be purchased at www.creativecauldron.org or by calling 703- 436-9948.


Who/What

Creative Cauldron’s “Bold New Voices” premiere of Chicks in Heaven

When          

April 11 – 28, 2024

  • Thursdays at 7:30 pm
  • Fridays at 7:30 pm 
  • Saturdays at 7:30 pm 
  • Sundays at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Tickets
  • Tier One $45
  • Tier Two $35
  • Students $20
Where

Creative Cauldron
410 South Maple Avenue, Retail 116,
Falls Church, VA 22046

Contact

www.creativecauldron.org
703-436-9948


About Creative Cauldron

Creative Cauldron is an award-winning non-profit theater and educational arts organization whose innovative programs in the performing and visual arts embody collaboration, experimentation and community engagement. Creative Cauldron was founded by Artistic Director Laura Connors Hull in 2002. In 2023 Creative Cauldron launched a $500,000 New Home-New Horizon capacity campaign to raise funds for a move into a new theater at the corner of Broad and Washington in Falls Church City in the Fall of 2024.

Programs are presented in part through grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, ArtsFairfax, the City of Falls Church, the Little City CATCH Foundation, the Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts, and the Robert W and Gladys S Meserve Charitable Trust. Generous corporate and individual sponsors also support Creative Cauldron’s programs.